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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  October 26, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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>> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit >> what do you think of when you see a tree? the treatment for cancer? alternative fuel for our cars? do you think of hope for the environment, or food, clothing, shelter? we do. weyerhaeuser, growing ideas. >> just going to keep on keeping on, until every single person
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out there who needs to vote is going to go vote. >> this week on "inside washington," the endgame. the last debate. >> nothing governor romney just said is true. attacking >> me is not talking about how we deal with the challenges in the middle east. >> the women's vote and the return of the abortion debate. >> i think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that god intended to happen. >> the colin powell endorsement. >> i was proud to learn that we have colin powell's support in this campaign. >> you have to wonder if that is based on issues or whether he has a slightly reason for preferring president obama -- a slightly different reason for preferring president obama. captioned by the national captioning institute
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>> we are all most of their pit believe it or not, at the election is now less than two weeks away and both candidates are running as if there is no tomorrow. >> this the first top on our 48- hour flight around campaign marathon extravaganza. we are going to pull an all- nighter. no sleep. >> no question about it, we're seeing more and more disease and, more and more support. >> news broke on friday that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2% rate not great, but better than expected economic news, the last gdp report before the election. right now i have a very shaky limb i will ask each of you to step out on a date if the election were held tomorrow, mark, who would win? >> i should not go out on any limb, given my weight, but if the election were held tomorrow, obama would win, based on early
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voters. >> evan? >> obama, but we still have a long way to go. >> nina? >> i hate doing this, but i would say obama because of the ground again, but that is just today. >> that's ok. colby? >> the national tracking polls as them close, but if you go to the key battleground states, obama still holds a lead in those states and that will put him over the top. >> what is the ground game, mark? >> the organized effort over months to identified not only supporters not onlyleaners -- only supporters, but leaners. by election day, you know who your voters are and you want to be sure they go to a. > -- to vote. >> in many the battleground states, obama has more field
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offices. >> it comes down to micro- managing and micro-issuing these folks. the republicans have a better ground game in 2004, and a lot of people think it that is why they won that close election, and it fell into disrepair today are building it back up now, but i don't think they are near where obama is yet. >> which candidate has the most enthusiastic, the most in gauge, the most dedicated supporters, colby? >> that is a hard one to answer. i think that clearly after the first debate, the republican party had enthusiastic supporters there. romney did it do well compared to obama. there was disappointment with president obama within the democratic ranks after that first debate he has started to regain the next two performances, but that first
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debate had a tremendous impact. >> wherever he goes, you hear him say that you have to vote. >> he counts on groups that have low turnout rates paid blacks, hispanics, young people, people he needs and that catapulted him to the top in 2008. there was a big turnout in 2008. those people lacked passion and he needs to find them and get them out. >> the pew research center and a harvard year to see poll indicates, if they are accurate, that if you were young people are going to -- fewer young people are going to turn out for obama. >> i don't think you need a survey to tell you that. you have your own eyes and your experience. >> one thing obama has is this data mining thing, this state of the art mining of information to find these people and get them
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out. we are about to test how could that is. >> or abortion is back as an issue, and this is why, a comment made by 80 at senate candidate richard mourdock, who has been endorsed by mitt romney. >> life is a gift from god, and even when it begins in that horrible situation of rape, it is what god intended to happen. >> that is the tea party's richard mourdock, who defeated a veteran foreign policy expert richard lugar are in the primary. the romney campaign quickly responded that the governor disagree with th -- agrees with those comments. polls tell us that the president has been losing ground to romney among women. why is that? >> some of it is rebalancing, some of it is the effect of the first debate. i think that is this still falls along does have an effect. not because mr. mourdock said anything -- he was inartful.
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it was obvious what he was thinking. on the other hand, what he was thinking clearly is that rate is much less important than preserving a life in a lot of women, saying that rape is not that important is a very unfortunate thing, and romney has disagreed with them, but he has not taken back the ad he is running for mourdock. >> every time he looked on the cable news shows now, you see somebody from planned parenthood or another group that is pro abortion, so forth. the obama people are running with this trade will have -- the of what people are running with this. will it have legs? >> it will have an impact. it calls attention to paul ryan, who shares the same view that there should be no exception for rape, for abortion in case of rape or anything else.
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principled position gives way to politics and he is willing to buy the mitt romney position that there should be some exceptions. >> don't you think that most people made up their minds on this issue years ago? >> they have, but it energizes people to get out on voting day to the polls. >> we will look back at romney wins and say that the first debate is as important as was the first debate in 1960 when john f. kennedy close to the experience gap between himself and richard nixon, who had been vice president for eight years. he had retreated himself as moderate massachusetts mitt and that enabled him to talk to women in suburban areas. as far as richard mourdock is concerned, and i will be very blunt, i, joe donnelly man in that race. i think richard mourdock would be a disaster. what he was stating was a
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consistent principle bit if you believe that god creates life, the conditions under which that creation occurred, as tragic and painful as they might pay -- he was talking about life to he was not defending rape -- >> which he tried to make clear. >> i really think it is off for grabs. the president has a good chance to take this county and this town, but governor romney has been running a fairly strong campaign. >> that is the mayor of leesburg in loudoun county, virginia, a bellwether county in virginia. it went for barack obama four years ago, but then a white republican a year later in the gubernatorial election. -- then went republican a year later in the of editorial election. for gin is a battleground state, although it appears to be trendy -- virginia is a battleground
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state, although it appears to be trending towards romney. obama and romney have spent so much time in virginia and ohio that they will have to start paying taxes in both states. ohio? >> ohio remains beyond romney's grasp at this point in large part because obama is doing better there with white voters than he has across the country, and in the northeast of ohio, the auto bailout made a difference i. it is so much of a problem that rob portman, introducing romney in defiance, ohio in front of a huge crowd, said that "we have got to talk about this auto bailout tonight." they are still trying to explain. >> can romney win without ohio? >> yes, but it will be a tough one to reach.
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but it is still very close race. >> virginia? >> virginia will still probably end up in obama's camp. >> i look at the polls, and romney is up on average -- >> you can take your calls in virginia, because another poll shows obama is up in virginia. even with the heavy onslaught by romney, it still shows the northern virginia area still pretty much supports barack obama. >> new hampshire could be in play. >> new hampshire traditionally was a republican state. it only presidentially became a democratic state recently . >> then bartlet came along.
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>> the problem for ravi here is that unless he gets the search, it is close enough that if he loses ohio and virginia, let's say, or ohio and wisconsin, he pretty much passed to run the table in the other ones. >> you can get very confused unless you are a junkie trying to figure out the permutations, but everybody agrees that the path is clear and simpler for all of the then romney, even though it is a close race. -- clearer and simpler for obama that romney, even though it is a close race. >> a lot of talk about potential ties to the electoral college. >> which i think is a beach. but let's be clear, at the momentum is for romney and has been since that first debate. nina and to the new hampshire. there are only three states between 2000 and 2004 that change from bush-gore to bush-
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kerry. new hampshire when from republican to democrat. that is how closely the divided the public was and it still is now. >> there is a counter view, when you look at the battle ground states and the national polls, which show the clothes, but hardly a point where you can say that momentum has carried romney ahead of barack obama to a tightening? -- ahead of barack obama. tightening? yes, but hardly -- >> romney was dead in the water before that first debate. he had a surge. i tended to think that the searches over -- surge is over. but that is what made him a contender. >> what is it about that debate that changed the tide? is this's arrogance single biggest problem. it showed him a sleepy, sort of
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why am i here? even in the last debate, which he won, but he was a bit too much of a put down artist, and that especially with women voters is a problem. >> it wasn't just that obama did poorly. it is that romney did well and became, as mark said, moderate mitt. that is where people in the republican party traditionally .ove after the primary da he had been savaged by obama in an avalanche of ads, and he redeemed himself in that debate. >> we have this fiscal problems of living on january 2 report by the national association of manufacturers saying that the fiscal cliff is already hurting the economy. more than 80 ceo's are coming to put heat on congress. where is this going to do?
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>> it ought to result in congress making changes to keep us from going over the cliff. the statement of the ceo's is pretty significant if in that they said that not only do you need to have tax cuts, but some revenue -- >> tom mitt romney and paul ryan -- tell romney and paul ryan. >> but that would be a realistic thing to happen. he cannot do anything between now and election, but you can do something in january . we are also seeing steady improvement in the economy, an apartment that benefits the next president, by the way. -- an improvement that benefits the ex-president of by the way. >> i welcome the cliff. congress is just hopeless. they are completely hopeless.
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it will take a going over the cliff to get a deal could where i am hopeful that if we go over the cliff, we will get a deal, and one measure is these businessmen, who did not like taxes, getting together and say let's have taxes. >> "i welcome the cliff," by evan thomas. >> evan always thinks that if it gets bad, at the problem will solve itself. wrong. >> i respect the ceo's paid i wonder where they were when we were trying to work out a debt ceiling arrangement. i wonder where is they were when it mitt romney's encore promise, 20% across-the-board tax cut. how you are going to achieve any kind of sanity on the debt and deficit without that is beyond my comprehension. >> maybe he doesn't believe that
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either. >> if they are going to get a deal, it probably is going to be better with barack obama as president that mitt romney. he is so dug into his position -- he does flipper from time to time, but he is so dug into his position that i don't see how he could get an agreement. >> on mitt romney's behalf, doesn't the fact that he does move around work to his advantage? >> you could have a democratic senate, republican house, wishy washy president, and that could be the ingredients of a deal. >> is not that if you don't ever president if the -- don't have a president who was willing to lean on his own party. obama has been willing to do that. >> are we going to have a democratic senate? >> right now it looks
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increasingly like we will have a democratic senate. once again, republicans have blown it by nominating people like richard mourdock in indiana over richard lugar, nominate taught a get in missouri against if hon. -- nominating taught a ca -- todd akin in missouri against eight vulnerable claire mccaskill. elizabeth warren in massachusetts has the lead in virtually every poll. herb stein, a fine man, said that this is the year that we have to deal with the deficit or debt over the fact that we will ever deal with the deficit. this is the moment. we have to do it is time we just accept that we are going down a road of increasing debt. >> what about the house? still republican? >> again, let's go back to that
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first debate. stumble cost a lot of democrats who have trouble as well, i don't think it looks as good for democrats in the house as it did that. >> republicans have done their redistricting. democrats has steadily lost -- i thought it was quite miraculous that they took the house. it is a very steep climb after this redistricting in which if the status quo were to remain the same, they would have a chance of picking up 10 seats that are now beyond their reach. >> let's talk about foreign policy in the final presidential debate. >> he has proposed reckless policies, he has prpraised
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george w. bush as a great economic steward and dick cheney as someone who showed great judgment. >> attacking me is not an agenda. >> there is a sample of the foreign policy debate. charles krauthammer is off this week, but after the debate, i heard him say on fox news that romney won the debate unequivocally, not just tactically, but strategically. in this week's column, he said was the president's tone petty and small and that romney looked presidential. >> i thought this was an example of where we got me-too mitt. he essentially agreed with president obama on most of the key issues. >> sounded like he was running for secretary of state to succeed hillary clinton. >> he agreed with him on afghanistan, iraq, iran. the suggestion is that he was trying to tone down and become presidential. i don't know if that is the
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case. i think that he was stuck on his heels by obama's very direct challenge to him, and i don't think he looked very presidential at all. he looked like somebody who was captain of his talking points, and once he got past is talking points, all he could do was stare. >> another theory is that he was trying to reassure people he would not be crazy. >> he said a lot of nutty things during the primary like that russia is their biggest enemy, he would be willing to bomb iran tomorrow, trade wars with china on day one. thank god he pulled back on that stuff -- >> how do we know which mitt is mitt? really it was astonishing. to listen to that foreign policy enunciated, which was just a mirror -- to hear that and then to look back at what he said just weeks ago is to make
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the wonder, what is he really want to do as president? >> he wants to be president. [laughter] >> well, he is full of mitt. [laughter] he used the word "peace" three times in two sentences. he said that we don't want another iraq. it basically came down to "i am not dick cheney, i am not donald rumsfeld." i do think that the debate, while the president was more knowledgeable and more in control and command, he came across too intensely and i don't think that he got to break through that he needed in the campaign. i think he won the debate, and among independents, two-one, but i know that he got it --
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don't think that he got the edge -- >> it couldn't, because while he did well in the second and third debate, nothing could overcome the first debate. he let people down, he let himself down. >> roblin and colin powell -- public and colin powell in horses barack obama. >> you have to wonder if that is based on issues or if he has a slightly different reason to prefer president obama. >> what would that be? >> if you have somebody of your own race that you are proud of being president of the united states -- i applaud colin for standing with him. >> john sununu later saying that he has no doubt that colin powell's endorsement is based on anything other than policies. obama is steeply down with white
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voters from four years ago. >> lack of enthusiasm. >> is there a racial factor here? >> well, let's focus on john sununu for just a second. for john sununu, a moment's thought is a moment wasted. [laughter] he is well known for coming up with lines like that. he knew what he was saying. >> you could see him picking himself into a hole and then feeling nervous about it. >> award in defense of john sununu. he basically had a formulation that colin powell should be proud of supporting barack obama because they belong to the same race, which means that obviously, john sununu who is white is proud to be supporting mitt romney. john sununu is -- believe me, i have known him for a long time -- he is writing a book called "dale carnegie was wrong." [laughter] and it will not be a bestseller.
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>> everybody is crazy uncles in the attic, and romney as john sununu, and he also has donald trump, who is offering $5 million if the president would just releases college records. sununu in thekeep at. >> colby is right, they put sununu out there regularly. whenever you say about mitt romney's campaign, is a very disciplined campaign, and they are not putting out spokespersons who are saying what they don't want spoken. >> the president had a good line about donald trump on at jay leno's show. >> the president said, "it all goes back to when we were growing up together in kenya and we were playing soccer and he was not good at it." probably the best line and i heard him deliver in the whole campaign.
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>> unfortunately, people out there say "see, i told you." we are almost at the finish line. last word. see you next week. >> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit
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